Speaking to Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang city in November, Ito said that as an emerging economy with impressive growth, Vietnam has played an important part in the forum.
He lauded APEC’s role as the world’s leading economic forum to promote free trade and sustainable growth in the context of increasing protectionism. Protectionism can be good for some sectors with poor competitive capacity in the short term, however, it will be meaningless if the sectors cannot improve their competitiveness in the future, he noted.
There are various opportunities and challenges to carrying out APEC Year 2017’s priorities, including strengthening regional economic connectivity, fostering sustainable, creative and inclusive growth, supporting micro, small and medium firms and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture.
Some sectors have struggled with changes in the 21st century while others have thrived, he said, adding that APEC economies should focus on areas with feasible growth.
It is difficult to prioritise sectors, but competitiveness will develop when many economies opt for the same field, he said.